Simon Property Group Inc. SPG recently celebrated the opening of the 155,000-square-foot expansion at the iconic King of Prussia Mall situated around 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The move comes as part of the company’s focus on enhancing value of its premium properties, bringing 450 retail and dining options under a single roof and investing in customer experience.
Commenced in summer 2014, the project would result in addition of 50 new retail and dining storefronts at the Mall and improve its footprint to 2.9 million-square-feet. It included not only an enclosed multi-level expansion linking the five-anchor stores but also 1,680,000-square-foot Plaza, as well as the two-anchor, 902,000-square-foot Court. Originally, the two retail areas were separated by a roadway.
Several luxury retailers, upscale dining options and first-to-market brands have gathered at the expansion area. Stores opened already include several renowned names including Club Monaco, Gap GPS, Jimmy Choo and Shake Shack SHAK. Other notable brands are also slated to come up with their stores throughout the fourth quarter and also in 2017. Moreover, existing brands have also opted for relocation and footprint increase within the newly-expanded area.
Notably, Simon Property has been active in restructuring its portfolio and is aiming premium acquisitions and redevelopments. At the end of the second quarter, the company had redevelopment and expansion projects in progress at 33 properties across the U.S. and Europe and its share of costs was around $2.1 billion. With such a pipeline of projects, the company is expected to effectively leverage the improving spending habits of wealthier customers, with the economy showing signs of recovery.
Simon Property currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the retail REIT industry may consider a better ranked stock – Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust PEI – holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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